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A healthy diet for mice

Diet logo © RSPCA publications and brand 2010

 

Ensure your mice have a healthy diet

  

Mouse eating a cereal flake © iStockphoto

Mice need: 

  • Constant access to clean drinking water. Mice can die if they are deprived of water for even short periods of time.
     
  • Water in bottles with metal sipper tubes, checked daily for leaks and/or blockages.
     
  • Their water changed regularly and the bottle and nozzle properly cleaned to avoid contamination.
     
  • A good quality balanced diet to prevent nutritional related problems. It is essential that mice are provided with Magnesium, Vitamin A, and Choline in their diet. It is also essential that folic acid is present in the diet of growing and reproducing mice. Grapes/raisins, rhubarb and walnuts are poisonous to mice, and lettuce can cause them to have diarrhoea.
     
  • Their diet occasionally supplementing with small amounts of suitable fresh fruit and vegetables, as part of their daily allowance and not in addition. Mice are opportunistic omnivores and will eat both plant and animal based food. Wild mice will eat a wide variety of seeds, grains, and other plant material as well as invertebrates, small vertebrates and carrion.
     
  • Portions of their daily food allowance scattered around the cage to encourage foraging behaviour. Wild mice find food by foraging and spend a large proportion of their waking activity time visiting familiar feed sites within their territory.
     
  • To be allowed to engage in coprophagic behaviour. Mice are coprophagic rodents. This means that they eat their faeces to enable them to absorb essential nutrients such as vitamin B12 and folic acid. They eat cecal faeces from the floor of their cage.